Being an intern is exciting, fun and usually depressingly under-paid if not totally unpaid. [The paid vs. unpaid internships is another debate that I won’t get into today]. However, there’s more to it than just showing up and sitting at your computer all day. A lot of it, is about attitude.
‘Your editor’ in what follows means your supervisor/senior.
For part one of this series, go here.
Sure your mom, lecturer, bestie and dog think you are the shiz when it comes to writing. Your editor? Probably not. You first (and hundredth) piece of writing will be sent back to you. It will be covered in changes, corrections and comments. How you handle this, is what your editor will notice. Getting defensive towards criticism is a bad, bad idea. Your editor knows the brand, the market and, above all, what they’re looking for. Yes, it’s hard to be told you’re Not Perfect, but you never will be. Take note of suggestions and carry on. Do the changes. Send it back. Be prepared for more changes. Be humble. As an intern, you’re there to learn. Even as an editor of a department, you’re going to have your work revised. It’s part of the process.
If your editor is anything like me, they’re going to position you so that they (or someone!) can keep an eye on you. If your company is relaxed about you using Twitter or Facebook during work hours, go ahead. But know that your editor will most likely be monitoring you while you do it (seeing how much you spend working vs how much time you spend surfing). Or maybe I’m just a creepy stalker like that.
Yes, that age-old ‘intern gets the coffee’ idea. No, you’re not expected to do it 24/7, but it goes a long way to making a good impression if you offer your editor coffee when you’re making, offer to answer the phone when someone steps out – just little things to show you’re willing to do the grunt work as well as the fun stuff (like going to a launch!). You’re bottom of the rung, again it’s about attitude here that will help you excel.